As a child I spent much time at my grandmother’s home on Kent Island, a green landscape in the Chesapeake Bay laced with saltwater creeks and marshes, a wonderous place for a child to adventure and observe. The island has seen much development since that time but pieces of the beauty I remember are still intact, as are my memories.
My purpose is not to attempt a reproduction of nature (a practice generally doomed to failure in my opinion) but rather to convey the emotion of a place or a remembered experience, and to access the spirituality that is always present for me in nature. The colors of these places charm me – the varying blues of water and sky, the pale sienna of beach sand, the greens of marsh grass fading to ochre as the year advances.
Two examples of memory painting are The Creek At Morning and Night Fishing on Piney Creek. The first springs from childhood memories of time spent at the creek near my grandmother’s farm. I liked to watch as the watermen were setting off to work at daybreak, the early morning mist enveloping both water and shore, fusing that world in a muted composition of blues and greens. Night Fishing on Piney Creek arises from memories of fishing at night with handlines with my Uncle Bill. In these years before the proliferation of electric lights on the island, we fished beneath a pitch dark but star-filled sky.